Hey there friends, today CG turns four! February 15th marks the day four years ago I logged into Blogger, picked this url, and started this adventure as a hobby in the beginning and now it’s a job, I never would have imagined such a thing could happen.
Along the way I’ve made some amazing friends and been blessed with incredible opportunities, I’m so grateful for each one, but I must say the thing that keeps me coming back to the keyboard each day is you and I mean it with all sincerity.
Your comments motivate me to share my ideas, designs, and thoughts on a regular basis so I have to start with a big thank you to all of you who continue to read each day. I’m not going to analyze the blog traffic in numbers but I will say they long ago exceeded my expectations.
Every year I write a summary of what I’ve learned so I’m doing it again this year but first I thought it would be interesting to see what four years into this gig the readership looks like – thanks to thousands of survey answers, here’s a breakdown of the numbers which reveal who YOU are.
This cracked me up but I really wasn’t surprised. Hello to you male readers out there, I love when you comment!
In the age group, I broke down the younger crowd into 5 year categories but then mistakenly grouped the over 40 crowd into 10 year groups (gaffe!) and you all left some great comments about that!
A majority of you have college degrees, you smart people you, and I love when you catch my typos and grammatical errors, which is at least one per post.
Four out of five of you have tied the knot!
Similar statistics for residents, more than four out of five of you own your home.
Here are the numbers on annual income for CG readers. I didn’t ask if these were gross or net figures since I get a little nervous asking people how much money they make, but since it was an anonymous survey I felt more comfortable asking and I’m assuming these are mostly pretax numbers.
Looks like most of us are on a budget when it comes to sprucing up our homes, retailers take note!
I watched these percentages change over the course of a day, in the morning and afternoon the “no children” category was above 50% but then in the evening it dropped down to about a third which tells me a lot of you parents catch up on your blog reading at night.
You people love The Facebook. And like me, many of you are hopping on Pinterest too (that’s my most favorite social media hangout). The “others” mentioned were Tumblr and LinkedIn – two other tools I love and should use more frequently but I forget!
These numbers surprised me a lot, here I see that most of you prefer to come directly to the site, thank you! And now I’m more motivated than ever to spruce up the presentation and make it look better. A bunch of you in the “other” category read from Bloglovin’ and other blogger’s sidebar blogrolls, interesting!
These results are spot on because what you like to read about percentage wise is what I like to write about. DIY is my favorite of course (but see my notes below) with decorating and design topics coming up right behind it. I try to do one of each per week if I can and fill in with the rest. I see many of you like the ‘Best of the Blogosphere’ roundups and the Centsational Style articles too, thank you!
Hey you like the same stuff I do in your leisure time, we should be BFFs. Some of the other activities you mentioned were these: going dancing, horseback riding, Bible study, knitting or crochet, antiquing or thrifting, drinking wine, volunteering, even more reasons why we all need a giant club. :)
The final comments were mostly complimentary (thank you) some of you offering suggestions for improvement or topics to tackle (the “solutions for renters” series will pick up again soon, I’m still doing more research) but you gave me a lot of information to consider for future posts.
Many of you asked for More DIY – As you know, I’m incurable when it comes to DIY and I’m always trying to think up ways to build and create, but there’s only so much more I can do with my house this year. Matt and I are discussing the idea of building or remodeling another house again in the next year as a “flip” but in California, that costs a lot of dough so we’ll have to be really resourceful to pull it off, but it could happen! Mostly I’ll continue to help friends with their homes and projects and I’ll do my best to bring the DIY projects whenever I can. A lot of you said you loved the Alma Project and so do we. Giving back + DIY is a dream for us. Right now, we don’t have anything in the works, but I’ll be meeting with our local shelter soon and strategizing on how we can help.
Ask Kate. Many asked if you could submit design dilemmas, yes of course you can! I can’t guarantee a post right away but if you’ve got an issue and the answer would benefit others with a discussion, by all means email me your question! There were several suggestions on “how to” posts like “how to pull a room together” and “how to accessorize” etc. so I’ve got a lot of ideas for future articles on those specific topics.
My favorite comment (and I read them all) on what you would change was this: “more cowbell”. I seriously laughed out loud at that. If you don’t get that joke then you must watch this video.
… and now more words on what year four years taught me
Stay Active. In the last month I’ve spent four days a week exercising for an hour a day and it has had a significant effect on my mood – I feel energized and excited about blogging, instead of feeling like it’s a chore some days. I’ve gained some weight from too much time spent online and my level of health and fitness has suffered in the past year so I’m determined to get that healthy feeling back I had a few years ago when I was exercising regularly like I am again.
Take Time Off. Last year I took a week off of blogging every few months and it was so worth it. It felt great to step away and to spend time living a life offline and I returned enthusiastic and full of ideas. I plan to do more of it this year and I encourage all of you to take blog vacations and not worry about losing traffic or even filling up the days with guest posts, just take the time off! Your readers understand and they will wait for you. I’m convinced that time away will save you from blog burnout.
Do Your Thang. Copycats are boring, it’s authenticity that’s the key! March to the beat of your own drum on your blog, life’s too short to try to be anything you’re not. My favorite bloggers are the ones who wear their personality and style with pride – it may not be my style at all but I’m drawn to those writers for their self confidence so do your thing – some people won’t be fans but that’s okay, you can’t please them all!
Know Your Limitations. There’s that saying “comparison is the thief of joy” and those are the truest words to take to heart for any blogger. Some blogs have the fortune of a a team of writers to churn out content and that’s awesome, kudos to those bloggers but don’t let that get you down. If it’s just you and you’ve got other things going on – a job, kids or parents to care for, a limited schedule, that’s cool. Blog when you can but don’t ever let your blog run your life or affect your relationships.
Partner Wisely. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, as your blog grows there will be plenty of opportunities that come your way, say no to anything that doesn’t work for your vision or your brand – your long term reputation is much more important than short term monetary gain. If you get into a situation or partnership that doesn’t work, find a way out. Like in business or in personal relationships, partnerships need to be mutually beneficial – hold out for the good ones, they’re worth the wait!
Thanks so much to all who visit here, I’m grateful for your support and feedback. And many thanks to the contributing writers – Amanda, Shannon, Courtney, Liz, and Michelle – I love publishing their words and fresh insight, look for more of their articles later this year.
I think I set a new record for number of words, this post has 1,500+ ! Have a great weekend everyone, see you back here next week with some more DIY projects I’ve been working on!